If I Damage My Car From Hitting Wildlife, Am I Covered?

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture cites as many as 2 million collisions with animals occur each year.

It can be a scary moment when you are driving 70 mph on the freeway and a deer or other wildlife comes out of nowhere and runs right in front of your vehicle. Your first reaction may be to slam on the brakes or swerve to avoid the collision and hurting or even killing the animal. But, what happens if you do make contact with the animal and your car is damaged from it?

Are you covered?

It depends on what auto insurance coverage you have purchased. Comprehensive and collision insurance can provide you with coverage.

Comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle when you make contact with an animal while driving.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that if you decided to swerve, missed the deer or animal and strike a tree then you could be covered by collision insurance on your auto policy. Because every insurance carrier is different, their claims department will handle it with the coverage they feel is most fitting to the situation.

Safe Driving Tips To Always Remember

Driving hazards present themselves daily and can occur year-round in every state. Here are three things to always remember when it comes to driving your vehicle and wildlife.

Always stay alert

If you are driving in rural areas, be aware that wildlife is always nearby and keep a lookout towards the sides of the road.

Don’t swerve your vehicle

Swerving cannot only results in a worse injury and more severe accident, but your insurance company might find you at fault if you swerve to miss a deer and end up hitting a tree, another vehicle or guard rail. Regardless, remember to avoid swerving in general. Tightly hold the steering wheel, apply the brakes and stay in your lane.

Be more aware at night

Animals can become more active in the evenings and some travel in groups. If you see one, chances are there are more nearby. If there are two lanes, drive in the lane farthest away from the side of the road.

Tips If You Happen To Hit The Animal

Like any accident, there are a few things to always do immediately.

  • Safely pull to the side of the road. Give yourself as much space as possible then turn on your emergency lights.
  • Check to see if everyone in your vehicle is okay. Hitting an animal is startling so take a moment to take a few deep breaths to calm your nerves.
  • Call the police to report the accident and arrange a tow if necessary.
  • For claims purposes, always take photos of the damage to your vehicle and make notes.

If you have questions about your auto or vehicle insurance, contact our agency! We can provide you with an insurance quote and answer your questions.

Do I need special insurance to drive for Uber or Lyft?

Whether you are thinking of starting a new career or simply want to make some extra income during your down time, working for companies like Uber or Lyft can be a good move. However, you will need specific insurance to be fully covered as your personal auto insurance policy and the insurance provided by Rideshare companies provides gaps in coverage or potential excess liability.

Ridesharing is defined as: individuals who use their own vehicle to transport people from point A to point B in exchange for money.

If you are considering working for other companies such as DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, Uber Eats, Instacart or other delivery type companies, you would want a rideshare insurance policy as well.

A rideshare insurance policy provides coverage during:

  • Waiting for a ride request.
  • When you accept a ride request and are on the way to pick up the rider.
  • When you pick up the rider & drive to the destination.

In what situations does my personal auto insurance cover me?

  • When you are offline or not using the Uber/Lyft app.
  • The period after you’ve dropped off a passenger but are still logged in and are waiting to match with another passenger (for instance, you roll forward and hit another vehicle with no rider in your car).

Does Uber or Lyft or any other rideshare company provide insurance for you?

Uber maintains insurance on your behalf such as third party liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage.

However, your current auto insurance policy may offer a rideshare endorsement that can be added to your policy. You may receive additional coverage too that goes above and beyond the limits provided by the Rideshare company. Talk to one of our agents first. We’ll explain the difference in coverage options.

What if I don’t have rideshare insurance & I’m involved in an accident?

The consequences of not having a rideshare insurance endorsement could result in a denial of coverage by your main auto insurance company. Whether you fail to tell them you are using your car for rideshare services or simply didn’t know you needed the insurance endorsement on your main auto policy, could leave you liable for the entire loss. This leaves you with paying for injuries, medical bills, car repairs, property damage etc. if you get into an accident.

If you are considering a career or part time job for any rideshare company, reach out to our agency! Rules and regulations change regularly, so be sure to research yourself what changes may have occurred since this article was written. We can go over many coverage options with you to ensure you have the right insurance protection. Getting the right policy is easy, we just need to know that you’re driving for a Rideshare company and we can get you the right policy.

Heuer Team Park Clean Up

The Heuer team participated in another park clean up this past weekend! Back in July, we announced we adopted the Vista View Park located at D’Andrea Pkwy through the City of Sparks. Check out some photos below!

Everything You Should Know About Insurance For First Time Home Buyers

Owning your first home is one of the most exciting and biggest accomplishments in life. It is a memorable time and something to be proud of. With this excitement comes the responsibilities of maintaining and insuring the home. While we can’t help with the maintenance, we can help you understand and properly insure your new home.

What Does Home Insurance Cover? Homeowners insurance is a broad policy that covers the structure of your home against losses like fire, theft, vandalism and other weather related losses. You also have coverage for liability for injuries to others while visiting your property such as slip and fall claims or even dog bites. It is important to understand that losses from floods and earthquakes are typically excluded from the standard homeowner’s insurance policy. You can get a separate policy for these types of losses.

What Does Home Insurance Cost? The cost of a homeowner’s insurance policy varies on several factors including your credit history, your previous loss history (dog bites or liability, or property loss claims), the value of your home and any scheduled property like jewelry and art. Our agency can give you exact numbers and because we’re an independent insurance agency, we can compare several home insurance companies at once for you to find the right coverage at the right price.

Does Home Insurance Cover Detached Structures? If your home has a detached garage or other detached structure like a home office or art studio, your policy can include things like “Other Structures Coverage.” Talk to an agent to learn more about insuring your detached structures.

Are My Personal Items Covered? Homeowners policies come with personal property coverage. This amount varies by company and can be increased with most companies. Be sure that the amount of coverage you select for personal property is sufficient for the items you own.

Are Dogs okay? Most dog breeds are okay to be covered under the liability portion of your home insurance policy. Some dog breeds such as Pit Bulls, Akitas and other dogs are classified as dangerous and may be excluded from coverage. Check with your insurance carrier for a list of breeds they will not insure.

Many options and additional coverages are available for home insurance that are not included in a standard home insurance policy. Check with a licensed agent in our office for additional coverages you may want to include with your new home. Again, congratulations on your new home purchase and if we can help you in anyway, please let us know. We appreciate the opportunity to be your homeowners insurance agent.

Heuer Insurance Agency’s October Newsletter

Industry 101

As years go by, most of us replace or add valuables to our belongings. Many times, this should prompt an insurance review.  It’s easy to forget to update your insurance policy in the process, so there is no better time than now to make sure both your new, as well as old belongings, are insured properly on your Homeowners policy.  Every policy has limitations within that policy and coverage for items like firearms, arts, coins, collectables and stamps can be extremely limited, no matter what the cause of loss was.

Jewelry coverage also has limitations; usually less than a couple of thousands of dollars, plus your deductible. If you are fortunate enough to have precious stones or jewelry, it is very important to talk to your insurance agent at Heuer Insurance to ensure you are covered.  You can fix this oversight fairly easy, but do it before you have a loss.

Three easy steps to remember:

  1. Take inventory of your belongings. Make a list or a video of your belongings and store off site.
  2. Discuss with your agent what types of additional coverage may be right for you.
  3. Consider coverage for items such as, but not limited, to electronics and musical instruments. Many of these types of items go off premises and you need to understand the coverage afforded.

The more accurate and updated your policy and coverages are, the easier it is for your claims to be handled quickly and efficiently, should a loss occur.

Agency News

We are extremely honored to have been named Rotary Business of the Month by Sparks Centennial Sunrise Rotary Club in the month of September. We are proud to be a part of such a wonderful organization and to be recognized alongside many outstanding local businesses!

Thanks for reading, see you next month. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and refer your friends. We very much appreciate you!

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Your Home

We all know the importance of having a smoke detector in our home, but what about a carbon monoxide detector?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be lethal. Carbon monoxide can build up in your home whenever you burn fuel from a stove, grill, furnace, fire place or from your vehicles in the garage. Obviously, we need to use these appliances every day, as well as drive a vehicle, so how can we keep safe?

Simple tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home. Check the batteries every 6 months, however, it should alert you with a beep with batteries are low.
  • Ensure you get your fuel burning appliances checked every year by a qualified technician. You should get in the habit of looking for rust on vents or loose/disconnected pipes on appliances like your water heater, heating system or any other gas, oil or wood/coal burning appliance.
  • Use portable gas stoves or burn charcoal outside only.
  • Keep generators outside and away from open windows only. Using them in a garage or carport can be dangerous.
  • Don’t attempt to heat your house temporarily by turning on your oven or gas stove.
  • Get your chimney checked every year. Debris can block your chimney and cause carbon monoxide to build up in your home. You can check your chimney yourself for any cracks.
  • Never leave your car running while it sits in the garage.

Did you know they make a battery operated combination detector for both a smoke and carbon monoxide? Combination detectors can save space and batteries in addition to lives.

Even a single carbon monoxide detector in your home could save lives. If you rent a home or apartment that does not currently have a carbon monoxide detector, ask your landlord to provide one. Many states require that homes have them installed. Review your state laws here.

If you have questions about your home or renters insurance, contact our agency. We can go over your current coverage or provide you with an insurance quote.

Heuer Insurance Agency’s September Newsletter

Industry 101


Water damage is a concern for all homeowners and can be a sneaky culprit! Did you know that washing machines are one of the main sources of water damage to homes? Others that top the list include hot water heaters and dishwashers.  Fortunately, there are a few easy and inexpensive steps you can take help to prevent these types of losses. Take it from us, water losses are awful to deal with as a consumer! We have outlined some preventative measures below to ensure your home is better protected against water damage.

1.      Check for leaks every four months

2.      Check supply hoses to ensure a tight connection.  Reinforced steel braided hoses are highly recommended!

3.      Read your washing machine and dishwasher manuals for the proper soaps and load recommendations

4.      Flush your water heater once a year to ensure you have fresh water and to remove sediment

5.      Don’t leave running appliances unattended. Try only use your dishwasher and washing machine while you are home.

Leak detection systems are another great tool to monitor your appliances. These systems even shut off appliances automatically if a leak is detected.  Of course, not all losses can be prevented, but following these tips should lower your chances of a loss.  In the event of a loss or damage, make sure you know where your water shut off valve is, check now before you need to know!

Anniversary Corner


Happy 20th Heuer anniversary to Michelle! One of our commercial line agents, Michelle has been with us since 1995. Outside of the office, she loves giving back to her community and does so by contributing to many organizations such as the Northern Nevada Food Bank, Veterans Guest House, March of Dimes and more. Michelle and her family enjoy traveling, camping and just spending time together. Thank you for everything you do Michelle!

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Agency News


As a part of our 90th anniversary celebration, we recently put together a timeline, illustrating the history and milestones of Heuer Insurance Agency. We are so proud of our legacy and have you, our clients, to thank!

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Thanks for your friendship and business, we sure appreciate you!

Do I need a separate trailer insurance policy when pulling it with my car or truck?

In order for you to be best protected, it is always recommended that you carry a separate trailer insurance policy. Because of the countless situations that may occur with a trailer, it is not entirely possible to say that your auto insurance policy will provide liability protection if your trailer causes damages or personal injury.

Common Trailer Types Include:

  • Conventional Trailer: The most common type of travel trailer between 12-40 feet.
  • Fifth Wheel Trailer: Attached to a vehicle using a hitch in the bed of the tow vehicle.
  • Pop-up Tent Trailer: Collapsible trailer used for camping & recreation.
  • Truck Camper: Mounted in the bed of the truck with an over-cab area for sleeping.
  • Horse Trailer: Trailer used primarily to haul horses.
  • Toy Hauler: An RV type trailer with living space as well as ability to haul ATVs or Motorcycles.
  • Cargo or Utility Trailers: Small trailers used for moving or landscape jobs odd jobs.

What types of coverage should I have for my Recreational Trailer, Camper or other trailers?

Liability insurance may be provided to your trailer while it is attached to your vehicle. Check with your agent to see if your insurance company provides coverage while the trailer is in use and attached to your vehicle.

It is always recommended to have a separate trailer insurance policy to avoid any gaps in insurance coverage and trailer insurance is typically inexpensive. Some common options include:

Comprehensive Coverage: Can provide coverage for your trailer if it catches on fire, is vandalized or damaged by severe weather.

Collision Coverage: Can provide coverage if your trailer is damaged by you while being towed, or while unattended and parked.

Liability Insurance: Can provide coverage for injuries or property damage caused by you. Many companies will have “liability follow the tow vehicle” for trailers since trailers can’t drive themselves.

Optional coverages to discuss with your agent include:

  • Roadside Assistance
  • Total Loss Replacement
  • Replacement cost/personal effects
  • Vacation Liability
  • Full timer’s Liability

& many more!

Exploring the country in a trailer or just going camping on the weekend can be great fun. Be sure that before you leave you talk to your licensed insurance agent about insuring your trailer correctly to avoid any surprises.

All of your Renters Insurance Questions Answered!

Renters insurance is a great thing to have if you’re not a homeowner. We’ll answer the top questions we get about renters insurance below.

How Much Is Renters Insurance Per Month?

The cost of renters insurance can vary depending on what your coverage limits are and what you want covered. It can also vary because of your credit score or previous loss history. In general, a policy with average limits with clean credit and no loss history will run you about $15-25 a month.

What Is The Best Renters Insurance Policy?

The best renters insurance policy is a policy that provides you the best coverage at a price that you’re comfortable with.

Should I Get Renters Insurance?

Everyone should carry renters insurance if they rent a home or apartment. Renters insurance covers more than just your things. It provides you with a liability insurance policy to protect your assets. Renters insurance will protect you with coverage from theft and fires too.

Is Renters Insurance Worth It?

If you’re a renter, getting a renters insurance policy is always worth it. At less than a dollar a day, it is an affordable insurance policy that protects you and your assets.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover?

Renters insurance covers a variety of things from your personal items like your computer and couch to your clothes. It also provides you with liability protection in the event you are found liable for injuries to others you’re found liable for as well as provides you with temporary living expenses if your home becomes uninhabitable for periods of time.

Can a Landlord Require Renters Insurance?

Yes, landlords can require you to carry a renters insurance policy. Many renters assume their landlord’s insurance policy will cover their personal items in the event of a loss, but that is not true.

Can I Use My Roommate’s Renter’s Insurance Policy?

No, roommates are specifically excluded from renters insurance policies unless they are listed on the policy by name. Roommates are excluded from coverage for personal property, loss of use and liability coverage.

We always recommend a renters insurance policy. If you have questions about your renters insurance or would like to get a renters insurance quote, please contact us.

Does my Auto Insurance Cover Mechanical Repairs?

The cost of repairing or replacing a transmission or engine in a car can be daunting. Many people wonder what exactly is covered by an auto insurance policy. Does an auto insurance policy cover things like transmission repairs, tires, faulty wiring or worn suspension parts?

In short, no, an auto insurance policy will not pay to repair wear and tear items on your vehicle. The only time some items may be covered are when they are damaged as a direct results of a covered loss such as a collision.

Insurance is not designed to repair damaged or worn parts due to normal wear and tear of your vehicle. There is no coverage for things like mechanical failures or maintenance.

So, what options are there to cover these items? When you purchase a vehicle, some dealers offer extended warranty coverage. These warranty policies essentially extend the manufacturer warranty of newer vehicles. This is the type of insurance program that would provide coverage for things like mechanical breakdown of your transmission or engine parts.

If you have questions about car insurance, contact our agency. There are an overwhelming number of choices for car insurance out there, don’t stress! Let the professionals at Heuer Insurance Agency gather quotes from several insurance carriers, presenting you with the best options for your budget and needs! Our agents are here to help guide you through rate comparisons, discounts, flexible payment options and they may have some money-saving tips as well. Get your quote today!